Looking for love this Valentine’s? What if your date is just not your type?!

Posted 10 February 2012 by
The Myers-Briggs Company

Every year, the 14th of February rolls around again, as bewildered husbands duck into the services to pick up a scraggy bunch of petrol station flowers, and singletons everywhere join their fellow Bridget Joneses for anti-Valentine’s dates. Cynics bemoan the commercialised nature of the whole thing, and optimists look for love in quirky places. And now that internet dating has just about shrugged off its “only for weirdos” cachet, there is a plethora of dating sites to choose from – and a whole host of potential dating disasters ready to knock at your door.

This all got us wondering: what can the MBTI® tool tell us about dating? Do birds of a feather stick together, or do opposites attract? And what makes a great date for different types?

Extraverts and Introverts

Extraverts are likely to be the life and soul of the party on a first date. They are perfectly happy and at ease doing all of the talking, as well as instigating the date and making the first moves. In fact, when dating an Introvert, Extraverts can spend their whole evening talking and answering their own questions, and even supplying answers for the Introvert, with no response necessary. And at the end of the date they might even thank the bamboozled Introvert for a fantastic time!

Often Introverts seek a quieter and more intimate setting for a first date, such as dinner for two, with low lights and soft sounds, where they can really get to know the other person. Depth and meaning in conversation can be important to an Introvert, and too much external noise might leave them reaching for the wine bottle in despair.

However, despite their differences, an Extravert–Introvert match can often be a very good one. Extraverts can be very attractive to Introverts, who can find them easy companions with a natural flair for conversation. Just don’t take your Introvert date to howl out Islands in the Stream at a karaoke bar.

Great dates for an Extravert might involve tickling a beefeater under the chin in London or doing that thing with ice-cream on a roller coaster at Alton Towers – hushed museums or libraries are to be avoided (or anywhere else where they can’t talk!). As for Introverts, a quiet and intimate dinner for two would float their boat, but you might not get a second date if you ended up in the front row of a comedy club…

Sensors and Intuitives

On a date, conversation topics of Sensors and Intuitives can be very different. While Sensors are more comfortable talking about concrete realities – people they know, their jobs, great holidays and previous events – Intuitives are excited by conversations that involve their hopes, dreams and fantasies.

A potential conversation-stopper for the two types is around details. While for the Sensor, the facts and details of a story are very important (as well as the order things happened in), an Intuitive may find these irrelevant and annoyingly tedious. Sensors, in contrast, may have difficulty following Intuitives’ abundant trains of thought and tangential conversation style.

Sensors might enjoy sloshing wine about pretending to know the difference between a Reisling and a Gewurtztraminer; for Intuitives, how about a murder mystery party where Reina Terra is suspected of killing Maria Von Schnapps with an electrified trouser press?

Thinkers and Feelers

Thinking types are logical in their approach to intimacy. Feeling types simply want to be intimate – full stop! To a Feeler, the cold and detached thinker may seem unemotional, often resulting in accusations of being a ‘cold fish’ or ‘having commitment issues’. However, to the Thinker, they are merely taking time to work through and understand their feelings in a logical way. They are likely to feel uncomfortable and react badly to being pushed to show intimacy too early on by their clingy Feeling partner. Thinkers need to know where they stand right from the start, and to have expectations clearly defined. Even the words “I love you” themselves might be open to the Thinker’s unrelenting quest for truth and classification (think Prince Charles when questioned about his love for Diana – “whatever love means”).

On the other hand, for Feelers, logic and definition defeat the whole purpose, and serve as a total passion killer. A Feeler is likely to believe in love at first sight or remark to their friends “you’ll know when it feels right”. These statements can seem illogical and overly sentimental to the no-nonsense Thinker. For a Feeler, “I love you” is all that’s needed.

Thinkers are bound to love impressing their date with their knowledge at a quiz night; for your Feelers, turn up with flowers, whisk them off to a candlelit dinner, and maybe round off with a weepy movie where you can cuddle up in the back row.

Judgers and Perceivers

A ‘Judging’ approach to dating is scheduled, planned and punctual. Judgers like to plan the experience – deciding what to do, where to go and when to do it. For a Judger, getting clarity on ‘where things are going’ and knowing where they stand with the other person are likely to be very important – both on the date and in the relationship in general.

In contrast, many Perceivers can feel trapped by a Judger’s seemingly unbending and unending scheduling. Instead, Perceivers often take a more spontaneous and easy-going approach to dating. This can be very attractive to Judgers, particularly early on in the relationship – but it can cause problems over time, with Judgers wanting to seek closure and often commitment, and Perceivers being reluctant to be tied down.

For a Judger, why not skip the date and head straight for your honeymoon? An all-inclusive package holiday, with a full itinerary and scheduled spontaneity sessions on the beach. Perceivers might prefer a flight-only holiday to a mystery destination (it could be the moon, it could be Bognor Regis – the fun is in the surprise!).

Want to know more?! We were reading these juicy titbits:

Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work

16 Ways to Love Your Lover: Understanding the 16 Personality types So You Can Create a Love That Lasts Forever

Intimacy and Type: A Practical Guide for Improving Relationships for Couples and

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